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Posts Tagged ‘Isaac Asimov’

Sorry, a technical hitch makes this a few hours late.

My last holiday post today so I am going with a quote from a writer whose life story I find very interesting:

Writing, to me, is simply thinking through my fingers.

Isaac Asimov, a great scientist, and a prolific and surprising writer. Read about him if you get a chance; his life and death are an example of how effort and chance both shape the world.

I will be back to normal tomorrow!

Happy writing,
EJ
🙂

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This week I’ve hardly had any time for reading but I finished the book from last week and snuck in a short story!

Book 22 – I, Robot by Isaac Asimov.  I wanted to read this having watched the film a few years ago; I like the idea of exploring morality in science fiction and although I’ve never read any Asimov before, I have heard many good things.  It bears little resemblance to the film I remember but the idea at the core was the same so I didn’t mind that at all.

It’s actually a series of short stories, tied together by characters and chronology.  I didn’t much like the first one but as the robots got more advanced, and the morality got more questionable, it became much more exciting to see what would happen next.  There’s a point at which you wonder who is the human, and whether the machines have a more humane view of life than the humans themselves, which is very powerful.

I enjoyed the constant attempts to understand how the Three Laws were met, and the hoops gone through to prove they were even when that seemed so unlikely; it showed the flaw in the system that challenged the logic.

I think this book, although the start was a little hard work, grew along with the technology.

Book 23 – The Curious Case of Benjamin Button by F Scott Fitzgerald.  For anyone who only knows this as a (2.5 hour long) film, it’s actually a short story.  The idea of someone being born fully grown, able to walk and talk, is disturbing, so to watch Benjamin go through life enjoying a brief spell when his age and his appearance allow him what he wants – a wife, a career, a role in the army – to have those things taken away as his physical age regresses seems to be a lesson in understanding that older people and younger people suffer the same fate: they are not quite acceptable.

The book is very male-focussed: we don’t hear Mrs Button’s feelings on giving birth to a seventy year old baby; we don’t know much about Benjamin’s wife except as she ages he stops loving her and she feels dissatisfied with him.  We also view Benjamin very sympathetically, with his son an ungrateful and selfish character, his father desperate to change him.

For something so short, there was a lot to it and it was a far more enjoyable read than Gatsby.  It helped that I liked the main character!

Both the books this week challenged reality, in different ways; both touched on the nature of humanity and existence.  In an odd way they were very compatible!

Until next time,

Happy reading

EJ

🙂

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